CrossFit plus Boxing

Last night we did back squats. The barbell is supported by the “meat” of the upper back just below the neck, plus the hands. It was the first time I’d tried back squats, so I used an unweighted, 45-pound bar.
21 reps bottom-to-bottom squats, rest 5 seconds at bottom
21 reps taking 5 seconds to descend then exploding up immediately from bottom
21 reps resting 2 seconds at bottom, exploding up and finishing with a push-press.
I could have used more weight on the first two rounds in order to make it hard to finish the last few reps. But it was better to experiment with just the bar for my first attempt at back squats. “Resting” at the bottom is not really a rest because you’re supposed to hold all the tension that’s going to allow you to explode up with the weight.
The only problem I had last night was with the push-press at the end of each rep of the last set. I like the power and dynamics of popping all the way up from the legs and getting under the weight while it has that instant of weightlessness. But upon getting the arms fully extended, then you have to lower the bar onto the top of the shoulders to go down for the next rep. This is scary. I felt, naturally, as if I was in danger of chipping myself in the back of the neck with the bar, hitting that top vertebra that sticks out at the base of the neck.
It’s necessary to control the weight as it comes down, of course, and to place it on the top of the back, which should be flexed between the shoulder blades to create a sort of shelf for the bar. (The bar does not rest on the neck.) It is natural to flex the back this way for squats since the hands are reaching back to grip the bar. The problem I had was in controlling the bar on its descent. Lowering it slowly and gingerly, feeling out the best way to bring the bar down onto my back instead of my neck, caused my right shoulder to hurt in a way that nothing else has. I need to warm up my shoulders and practice overhead presses with a light dumbbell, I guess, to see if I can strengthen that shoulder.
Tonight at boxing I found that I’ve improved at floor-to-ceilings, doing 23, 22, and 21 reps in three 30-second intervals instead of the 18, 17, 16 I used to do. Floor-to-ceilings are a drill where you stand up, squat as low as possible and touch the floor near your heel, and then spring up extending your arms toward the ceiling as you jump. They’re pretty tiring.

1 thought on “CrossFit plus Boxing”

  1. You rock! Your CrossFit workouts sound so tiring. It was great (as always) to see you at boxing, kicking a*ss as usual.
    I hope our monthly/every-other-monthly “boxing gal” dinners continue so we can get to know each other better!
    — C

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